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to show restraint in every respect and to take account of the interests, principles and concerns of the Soviet Union. These basic principles will motivate our policy in the next Administration. A beginning was made at the Moscow summit. We can give a greater impetus in these discussions, and when the General Secretary visits the United States, this can be an event not only of social importance, but of tremendous historical significance. We would like that visit to be marked by the same order and scope of significance as the Moscow summit. As a general objective we could bring these discussions to a culmination during the visit, but before we can do that we will require precision.

First, with respect to preventing nuclear war, there are absolutely no differences. We believe nuclear war would be a catastrophe for our two peoples. Nobody understands this better than our two countries, because we are the only countries equipped to understand. We sometimes read in the press who is ahead or who is behind. A basic strategic advantage is impossible. Victory in a nuclear war is unobtainable. To engage in a nuclear war would be suicidal and an act of criminal folly. This is your objective, and we agree with this objective. Indeed it is a noble one.

At the same time, if we concede that our two countries are the two strongest nations, then our relations have significance beyond formal statements. As we look at the past, rightly or wrongly, many nations have feared military aggression and they believed they were free of this fear because of the protection of nuclear weapons. A treaty of this kind would have profound significance for these countries. While banning use between us, we do not want to create the impression that it is permitted against third countries. This is not your view.

Third, the General Secretary spoke of the problem that after banning nuclear war, there would remain the possibility of conventional war. He flatters us by saying we could have 150 divisions in our country. We do not have the population to man the headquarters that would be required. [Brezhnev on translation of this does not understand, but when explained that we have such large headquarters, he said the staffs are never in the front line.)

We do not want to give the impression that conventional war is permitted nor give the impression that under the protection we have from the non-use of nuclear weapons against one another, we could use conventional weapons. That is why we referred to the condition listed in our second paragraph. The General Secretary called attention to the vague language in Article I. It is drafted so vaguely that it is meaningless, he said. If we set a goal and fail to achieve it we have nothing. As he pointed out, we could still have the conditions but also a nuclear

This could be strengthened by saying "They have an obligation ...


We are not drafters, but I agree we could strengthen this paragraph.

Brezhnev: [interrupting during the translation] Maybe vague was too strong a word. He might say too indefinite.

Kissinger: ... and then use other parts of our draft. My understanding of the General Secretary's remarks—I do not recall this exactly-is that we should attempt to compare texts and have a drafting commission. I discussed this with the President and we are prepared to do this in principle. We should attempt to set as our goal a document that achieves the objectives the General Secretary set forth, and if we can, this will be one of the most fundamental documents of the post-war period. Therefore, it must be treated with extreme care and precision.

[At this point Brezhnev asked that no notes be taken, and proceeded to relate a story about a dog race in America. The dog's owner was exhorting the dog to win, and the dog kept replying, "Don't worry.” As he rounded the grandstand, running last, the owner shouted at him, but the dog merely replied, “Don't worry." Finally, the race ended and the irate owner asked the dog what happened, and the dog replied, "Well, it just didn't work out." Brezhnev continued that the dog made “every effort" but failed, and this was his point in relation to the discussion on nuclear weapons: We cannot just make “every effort."]

Brezhnev: There are two points: As for our side there is no hesitation in our desire to reach an agreement. We have no ulterior motives. Our position is based on a sincere desire to create confidence and obligations which the Soviet Union and the United States will never allow war to break out in general, and nuclear war in particular, between our two countries. This approach was the basis of our Party Congress. The last Congress, the 24th, underlined this desire.

We earnestly believe in, and are aware of, the immense historical importance that both the people of the Soviet Union and the United States and all people attach to peace. This is why we are convinced advocates of a solution. Now when it is clear and obvious that we are indeed mighty powers and have means to destroy each other completely, we must devote prime attention to military fears, but proceed from humane desire for the entire world to breathe a sigh of relief. From all the utterances of the President and from what we have said, our basic objectives coincide and we are both guided by a noble desire to finally see this problem settled.

This is the basic desire that underlies our proposal to incorporate this basic idea in clear-cut language, without wishy-wishy formulations after which we would have to say “we tried but it didn't work" (referring with gestures to the dog story).

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I am trying to think about the reasons for doubts or hesitation. There may be still doubts or distrust of the Soviet Union in your minds. If so, it is impossible to address a solution of this problem. If we deal on the basis of mistrust, this is an insincere approach. I do not believe this is so. The President and the American people are aware of the horrors of war in this era. They do not want to end their days in bunkers. They want to see agreement.

Or is it a question of allies or allied commitments? The fact is that the allies are 100 times weaker than the United States and do not possess nuclear weapons, and it is natural for them to want the cover of the United States. If the Soviet Union solemnly declares that we will not use nuclear weapons against the United States, you can be 200 percent certain that we will not use conventional weapons either, against the United States or its allies. Such a prospect would be completely con trary to the declarations of the Party Congress of our party. So the prospect of the Soviet Union using nuclear weapons against the allies drops away.

There remains the possibility of accretions of a historical nature. Perhaps people like the UK want to dissuade the President from taking steps on such important measures. If we listen to the whispering of our allies we cannot move forward. I say this and try to discuss possible ul

I terior reasons because there must be an explanation for concluding an agreement and for not concluding one. The basic idea of reaching an agreement is rooted in the minds of all people. If we do not reach agreement, we sow suspicion and in the minds of all the people.

I am proceeding from this motive and I made reservations on clauses that do not contain clear-cut commitments. That is why I jokingly mentioned the story about the dog race.

I certainly believe sincerely that during the President's Administration there cannot be war. We believe this cannot happen. But who knows who comes to office? Anything can happen. If we accomplish something, it will be effective not only for President Nixon's time but in the future. We can show all nations that nuclear weapons will not be used, because our two countries will not allow it. This will reflect noble global policies of peace. Whether this goal is achieved under the present or future leadership, the people will erect a monument to those leaders who achieve it.

On other aspects, amendments and modification are quite possible to take into account the observations of the President, made recently, and to prevent the impression that we two want to rule the world. In taking account of allies, we should give careful thought to the way to formulate the document to make it effective. But the basic goal is most important. I have elucidated an assessment of these goals. We will not

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go back on these because they reflect the basic nature of our Party. Despite slanders from some quarters, we are dedicated to peace.

As for possible attempts to frustrate our efforts from other quarters—those who might be anti-U.S. or anti-Soviet, or vested interests, we must not be prone to influence by them. If we do not confront these influences and not make concessions to them we will not succeed. Compromise is possible in elections but no compromise is possible in this aspect. As for allied warnings, we must create respect for our motive. But these are not basic aspects, only to be borne in mind. That is our basic thinking to be conveyed to the President.

[During translation Brezhnev excuses himself.]

Dr. Kissinger (to Dobrynin): It is possible to strengthen paragraph one, if you take account of our paper.


Gromyko: We will work out a formulation, but the crucial point is the first one in our draft. Will it be a treaty?

Dr. Kissinger: We have not fully decided on the form it will take.
Gromyko: A declaration is not an obligation.

Dobrynin: But Dr. Kissinger now says either an agreement or a treaty.

Gromyko: It should be one solemn document.

Dr. Kissinger: The whole concept is revolutionary and shakes the foundation of the post-war world. That is why we have a two-stage approach. In this way many of the countries concerned will become used to the change from the first to the final stages. The next stage could move forward right away.

Gromyko: Both stages should be prepared and agreed at the same time.

[Brezhnev returns)
Brezhnev: How do you see it?

Dr. Kissinger: We just had some preliminary exchanges with the Foreign Minister. What you have said is truly of fundamental importance. You want our two countries to take the lead in overturning the military basis of the post-war period. Since we took the lead in creating the conditions, we have an obligation in removing the military confrontation. We do not quarrel with your objective of removing the danger of a nuclear war.

It is also true that the consciousness of nations proceeds unequally. We are concerned that this document contribute to international stability and not create such a sense of insecurity in the world that would have a totally unsettling effect. That is why I asked your Ambassador if there was any objection if we talked to our allies, not to give them a veto but to give them some sense of the impact.

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Second, that is why we think it important at least to consider proceeding in stages. In April, I was surprised at the revolutionary and startling document you gave me. But if it is culminated in two stages, while the first stage suffers from vagueness, the world would be used to the idea that something more fundamental was to follow. The second stage would be a more basic document. We are not determined on this but advance it for your consideration. We believe your document emphasizes obligations at the expense of considerations. Your document almost describes how nuclear war could come about rather than how it could be prevented.

Consideration should be given, again, to two stages, first, a more general declaration, and later, at the time of your visit a more formal document. If we find it more desirable we could work on both documents. We will undertake to give more specificity to paragraph one and not like the dog story. You should look over our paper to take account of our considerations. We could take both documents and compare them in a businesslike way and decide how to proceed. As for other countries you mentioned, France wants the benefits of an alliance without the risks. Perhaps you may have allies like this. We have to take their views into account. In the past, if a measure genuinely contributes to world peace and is of benefit to everybody, we have found that the allies will support it.

It is inevitable, that we, as the two strongest powers, encounter suspicions. This is the price we pay for the opportunities before us. We should not settle this in the abstract, but solve it concretely, in the way I have indicated. I propose that we follow this procedure.

Brezhnev: [referring to Dr. Kissinger's statement on overturning the military basis] You are quite right, because your and our military must reappraise their doctrines. Until now everything planned against each other. But now we must reappraise their requests which are all based on one overtaking the other, more and more money. I am being frank in the utmost but that is true picture.

(Referring to maintaining the confidential channel:] When you (Sonnenfeldt and Lynn) were in the Crimea, I did not mention this subject. I can guarantee, however, that if this subject came up tomorrow, each and every one of our allies would raise no objections. Of course we have seven, you have 11.

Gromyko: Fourteen.

Brezhnev (brushing the numbers aside]: Speaking frankly, I cannot agree with you. I guess for the time being I do not have the possibility of talking Dr. Kissinger into this. What can I do?

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5 See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971-May 1972, Documents 159 and 221.

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